The European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee (AGRI) has approved a €2 million (£1.8m) research project into the use of homeopathy and phytotherapy in livestock farming as an alternative to antibiotics.

The European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee (AGRI) has approved a €2 million (£1.8 million) research project into the use of homeopathy and phytotherapy in livestock farming as an alternative to antibiotics.

AGRI approves €2 million research project into the use of homeopathy and phytotherapy in livestock farming.Draft amendment 5277, entitled “Pilot project — Coordinate research on the use of homeopathy and phytotherapy in livestock farming” was approved yesterday (August 30).

AGRI and MEPs Ulrike Rodust, Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos, Reimer Böge tabled the draft amendment, which calls for the creation of “a pilot project to coordinate research on the use of homeopathy and phytotherapy in livestock farming” in line with the motion for a resolution on antibiotic resistance in which European Parliament called for the use of antibiotics in livestock farming to be reduced and for alternative methods to be used.

Homeopathy is commonly used to treat conditions like mastitis in dairy cattle, while phytotherapy refers to the use of therapeutic plants (herbal medicines) in treating numerous contions.

BVA president Harvey LockeResponding to the news, BVA maintained its position on homeopathic medicines, claiming it cannot endorse the use of homeopathic medicines, or indeed any medicine making therapeutic claims, which have no proven efficacy.

BVA president Harvey Locke explained: “Millions of Euros have already been spent on trying to prove the scientific efficacy of homeopathic medicines. To date we have not seen any data to prove they can be effective in the treatment of bacterial infections.”

However, he added: “While it is unlikely that €2 million will be able to determine whether or not there is a basis for claiming homeopathic products can work, we welcome European investment in veterinary research and hope that the results of the pilot will be useful.”

The draft budget, as agreed on August 30, will now be passed before the budget committee before it can be amended and adopted by the plenary.

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